Mushroom Minestrone Soup

Mushroom Minestrone

Minestrone has a rich history dating back to the second century BC when Rome conquered Italy and monopolized the commercial and road networks. During this time, economic growth flourished allowing Italians access to a multitude of new vegetables. Gathering ingredients from leftover meals, Italian peasants popularized this ‘poor man’s soup’ into a delicious one-pot meal. Common ingredients included beans, onions, celery, carrots, fresh herbs, and pasta. I like to believe that aromatic spices like cinnamon and black pepper were also added. Meat or sausage was and is still used sometimes as a base.

In many versions of this soup, the beans are what create the magic in the minestrone, however, do use this recipe as a guide when making your own. Given the enormous popularity of new mushrooms on the market, try using your choice of mushrooms.

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Cook Time

120 Minutes



Step 1
Soak the white beans for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Drain and combine with six cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until soft and cooked through.
Step 2
In the meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the minced onions and fry on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Step 3
Lower the heat and add the minced shitake mushrooms and sliced garlic cloves. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes then lower the heat and add the chile, black pepper, cinnamon, and salt and fry for just a few seconds before adding the entire can of tomatoes. Lower the heat and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the olive oil surfaces to the top.
Step 4
Add this mixture to the pot of beans along with the white wine, carrots, celery, and other vegetables. If the mixture is too thick, add more water. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 5
Turn the heat off and let the soup rest for 30 minutes to an hour before serving with fresh herbs, radicchio, or other greens.
1 cup white beans
1/4 cup olive oil
5 to 6 garlic cloves, sliced in half
1 cup minced white onion
1 1/2 cups minced shiitake mushroom
1 teaspoon red chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
One 28-ounce can ‘finely chopped’ tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup white wine
2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups diced vegetables such as squash, brussels sprouts, potatoes, etc.
2 cups wild mushrooms, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
Sliced radicchio or carrot greens, if available

Notes & Variations

  • Mutti is a brand of tomato products from Italy that taste very close to fresh good tomatoes.
  • We use a white bean similar to cannellini; however, red beans, garbanzo, or black beans can also be delicious in this soup.
  • Kale and cabbage make an excellent addition to the soup. Add at the end to wilt.

Stock Your Pantry

Cooking with wine is the way to go.

Have a go at the dishes below (both feature white wine for extra tastiness).